When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there are many things to factor in that are beyond going to bed early. Sleep should be an absolute non-negotiable for everyone, and to wreak the benefits of a deep sleep, you need to ensure you’re eliminating anything that hinders a restful shut-eye.
Avoid stimulants 4-5 hours before bed
Caffeine and alcohol interfere with the sleep cycle as they disrupt the sleep-regulating mechanism, known as sleep homeostasis. You should avoid either if you want to get a good night’s sleep. As much as you may love your after-dinner red wine to help relax your body, alcohol is a sedative, not a sleeping aid, which means it only mimics sleep.
Avoid eating after dinner
The timing of when you eat your last meal has a significant effect on your sleeping patterns and your health. In order for your body to do its job well and digest the foods from the day, you need to give it a fair amount of time( 2 to 4 hours) to allow it to break down the foods and utilise the nutrients. However, when you’re mindlessly eating away late into the evenings, you run the risk of disrupting your sleep and gaining weight. If you’re hungry before you go to sleep, try eating a small banana as they are rich in magnesium and melatonin which can help relax the body and encourage sleep.
Ease your stress and anxiety
It’s a no brainer that stress and anxiety can keep you up all night! If you can feel yourself getting caught up on worries and fears from the day, take time out for relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, massage, and deep breathing. Stress causes hyperarousal which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness, so when it’s difficult for you to stay asleep, try reading a book or writing in a journal to allow your thoughts to flow and help promote sleepiness.
Ditch the devices
When it comes to the bedroom, you need to ensure you’re creating an environment that is free from technology that is going to keep you alert at unnecessary times. If you need an alarm to wake you up, invest in an alarm clock. A room free of devices is a sure way to encourage a night of deep sleep.
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